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Cricket: Bopara pleased with Essex start

PUBLISHED: 07:13 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 07:13 28 May 2019

Ravi Bopara in batting action for Essex during Essex CCC vs Kent CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 27th May 2019

Ravi Bopara in batting action for Essex during Essex CCC vs Kent CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 27th May 2019

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Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara says the 2017 county champions were pleased with a first-day score of 303-8 against Kent at Chelmsford on Monday.

Ravi Bopara of Essex congraulates Alastair Cook on reaching his century during Essex CCC vs Kent CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 27th May 2019Ravi Bopara of Essex congraulates Alastair Cook on reaching his century during Essex CCC vs Kent CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 27th May 2019

Bopara hit 61 in 163 minutes at the crease and shared 130 for the fourth wicket with Sir Alastair Cook, who went on to score 125.

And although the home side slipped from 275-3 to 301-8, Bopara said: "It was a tricky pitch and we are happy to get over 300 based on the scores here in the past few years.

"We know that getting 300 means we are well in the game here at Chelmsford.

"That second new ball did a bit and there were a few bad shots but that happens. We can count ourselves lucky that we didn't lose wickets earlier in the day. It could have been a lot worse."

Ravi Bopara hits 4 runs for Essex during Essex CCC vs Kent CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 27th May 2019Ravi Bopara hits 4 runs for Essex during Essex CCC vs Kent CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 27th May 2019

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Cook occupied the crease for almost five and a half hours and hit 14 fours in his 242-ball innings, sharing 74 for the third wicket with Dan Lawrence (41) to lay a solid foundation.

And Bopara praised the former England captain, despite being in the middle when Cook was finally run out, as he added: "It was vintage Alastair Cook, a good old grind.

"It just shows that having him there and holding up and end makes a difference to our score as wickets tumbled once he got out.

"It was good for us that he batted a long time and set us up nicely.

"Everybody needs a century. It helps going into the next few innings and relaxes you.

"I did say to Alastair to have a look at two and I thought he was going to make it. He was already a few steps down and ready before he said 'yes'."

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